Spoke Newsletter – 04/23/2015

Spoke Newsletter – 04/23/2015

Regrettably, I was unable to be at Club because I addressed the Optimist annual Youth Appreciation awards event. Also there were SABINE ROBERTSON-PHILLIPS beaming at her daughter’s award and Superintendent of Schools LORI RHODES. Hence, trying to be a good journalist, I can only report that a number of attendees told me they appreciated the talk about the importance and need for bodies donated for science and research. I can only imagine that the speaker saw much potential….

HEIDI MAYER, founder of Youth Hope will bring us an update about the many aspects to this relatively new and important social service for Redlands youth.

MARK LEONARD, principal of Ictus Strategic Marketing, will discuss his work in the Inland Empire and Southern California serving businesses, non-profits, and people with ideas through strategic marketing.

PAT MEYER can use you this Saturday for the annual Service Clubs Council make Redlands Beautiful work day. See him if you can go, and if you are not at the meeting today, e-mail him.

Heard on the street….
JOHN PATTERSON and Hawaii…that’s a nice combination. FORREST HOWE seen spending lunch on his computer at Café Royale in Friday aloha ware. BETTY AUTON-BECK radiant after a trip of relaxation to the Sea of Cortez, doubtless motivated by reading the Steinbeck book of the same name. Summer weather approaches, should Rotarians consider making JERRY BEAN’S spread at the beach Redlands Rotary west? Dressed to the “nines” in academic regalia, SABINE ROBERTSON-PHILLIPS represented the Board of Trustees at the University of Redlands recent commencement. Ask her about the joys and comfort of a stage sun bath…DARWIN BARNETTE once again in the news as the Y breaks ground on its final renovation project. SHIRLEY HARRY making plans for the May Redlands Art Show, an idea she conceived with JERRY BEAN. Be prepared and fore-warned, president-elect NATHAN GONZALES is about to begin the search for a few good men and women to staff next year’s committees. This is a time of year that strikes terror in the hearts and butts of knife-and-forkers. Watch them eat and race for the exits, scattering into the afternoon sun as a covey of quail shaken by gun shots. Are we ever going to get the “damn” financials for Red, Wine, and Blues?

One of the more surprising contributors to Rotarian Magazine is NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The second article he has authored for our magazine appears in the current issue. It is titled “Let’s Get Logical: When You Go with Your Gut, the Trees Obscure the Forest.”

He begins with an examination of a law in New Jersey, passed in 1949, which prohibits automobile drivers from pumping their own gas. Despite studies which show that the price of gas would drop as much as $.08 per gallon were the law repealed, voters in that state have rejected all attempts to repeal the law. Reasons to keep the ban in place include public support for the employees who now pump gas, maintaining service standards for disabled motorists, the already low price for gasoline, and, most interesting to me, the inherent danger of pumping one’s own gas.

There are reasoned arguments against each of these considerations (such as the miniscule number of cars ignited by unskilled labor in the 48 states where selfservice is legal and common), but that doesn’t seem to make a difference to New Jerseyites. Abdul-Jabbar calls it a “genius level of brainwashing.”

It turns out that the real impetus behind the “1949 Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act” was greed on the part of service station owners. Before the law was passed, a competitor, Irving Reingold of Hackensack, began to offer self-serve gasoline at prices discounted from the “fixed” price, and motorists “lined up around the block” to fuel at Irving’s stations. The rival station owners organized a lobbying group, started spreading misinformation and “influence” around and, after the restrictive act passed into law, Reingold sold his stations.

There are many other interesting observations in this two-page article that make it well worth reading, and Kareem concludes it is in society’s best interests that the goal of schools be the development of critical thinking rather than just the rote memorization of facts.

It also helps if you perfect the “Sky Hook.”

Editor – Larry Burgess – No 39 – 4/23/2015

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